Author Topic: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice  (Read 432 times)

wveagle81

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« on: August 29, 2018, 11:50:33 AM »
Hello all, I'm pretty new to all of this as you can tell by my previous posts :-)

I'm looking to do a cutout for a box shape.  I have the link to the website which can
create a box, but now I would like to put a Celtic Knot design on the sides of the box.
Something like the attached image.

The main part is, I guess, is how do I make the black parts of the image get gut out,
while keeping the "crossing" lines only cut once?

I have other designs I'd like to create which will be similar, but I'm not really sure where to start.

I keep seeing references to InkScape, but all I have at the moment is PaintShop Pro.

I have a cheap 2000mw laser now, but I've ordered an EleksMaker A3 Pro 2500mw laser.

Thanks.

***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5999
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 04:20:44 PM »
There are a few options, you will need a vector (paths) to cut so that requires tracing (or raster to vector conversion).

Inkscape is free and can do that, or you can use T2Laser but since only contrast can be traced it may require some manipulation of the design to achieve what you want.

It may be possible for PaintShop Pro to change the design and then simply trace it with T2Laser but I would have to better understand the end result.

wveagle81

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2018, 08:26:38 PM »

Thanks.  The eventual goal is to create things like the attached photo.

I'm downloading Inkscape so I can look to see what it can do.
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

wveagle81

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2018, 09:34:18 PM »
Ok, so I've done a little experimentation and I have a (minor) handle on what I'm doing.

I took a PNG file (attached) and converted it to DXF using Inkscape.  I'd like the "rope"
parts of the design to be cut away, and possibly the large black areas as well, but the
file as imported into T2 doesn't look like what's in my head.  Essentially what I think
I'm looking for is for the thin lines to remain and for everything else to go away.

I'm not exactly sure how to tell what parts T2 is going to cut out though.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 09:38:30 PM by wveagle81 »
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5999
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2018, 04:22:04 AM »
T2Laser will cut each path that is in the DXF, so I think all you need to do is remove the outside (see attached).

In the image I loaded your original and traced in T2Laser, but since you have the DXF it's easier to remove the outside.

wveagle81

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 08:47:03 AM »

Thanks, Zax.  So did you load the original image into an editing program and just erase the outer line
after converting it to outline?  Or did you somehow do it in T2 using the DXF file?  I have a LOT to
learn about all of this stuff.

I'll give it a test tonight after I get home.
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

bob2299

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2018, 11:54:21 AM »
Hi wweagle81,

I had a lot of trouble wrapping my head around Inkscape, vectors, and bitmaps before I finally am able to get fairly consistent results.  To make life easier I made myself a workflow for preparing a DXF for use with T2.  I used the Celtic knot you started with in this topic to produce the steps and screengrabs.

I use my drawings for making Christmas decorations out of veneer stock and 1.5mm basswood.  I can do a similar write-up for burning my decorations using T2 if you think it would help.

Hope this helps you.

Bob
-EleksMaker - A3 2.5 W Laser with Mana SE board
-Laser Air assist and a modified Hako smoke absorber
-Inkscape, Qcad, BCL, & T2, My interest is marquetry/inlay
-MonoPrice Mini 2 3D printer
-I live in London, Ontario, Canada

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5999
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 12:20:26 PM »
Bob, that's fantastic! Really nice write up.

wveagle81

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2018, 12:28:13 PM »
Very nice!  Thanks for the tips.  I'll work through this over the next few days to see if I can get
it through my brain.

My new A3 should be arriving early next week, but I'll see what I can do with my current
cheapo engraver.

Thanks!
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

wveagle81

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2018, 06:34:22 PM »

Zax - So I took your DFX file and loaded it as is into T2.  Adjusted the size to fit my
material (round 3.5" dia 3mm plywood from Hobby Lobby).  Set it to the following:

Width: 80mm
Resolution: 0.08
Power: 0 / 500 (I know 255 is the max, right?)
Speed: 1000 / 700 / 2000
Multipass: 6
Mode: Sketch Plus (Overlay)

Then I started it.  After 6 passes, it seems to have barely scratched the surface.

What setting am I missing?

***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

Zax

  • T2Laser
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5999
    • View Profile
    • T2Laser
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2018, 04:04:50 AM »
If you are using my firmware and default values, 255 would be max power. If you have used other software the Grbl parameters may have been modified (some programs don't ask, just just change your firmware and/or settings).

You can easily use manual laser power to check that 255 and 1000 are the same, which they should be.

So vector speed was 700, that's high for cutting. Try 200 or less and make sure you are focused. It should be burning a lot more than that, but without air assist you may not cut through 3mm.

wveagle81

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2018, 05:35:33 AM »

Thanks, I'll try that when I get home.  I tried a lower speed, but the motors seemed to
make an odd noise, like it was difficult for them to run at low speed.  Almost like a
growl but it's hard to describe.

The only other software I've used on my computer is Benbox, so I'm not sure if I'm at
the latest firmware revision.  How can I tell?  I *think* I updated the firmware from
your menu but I don't remember.
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner

ggallant571

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2285
    • View Profile
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2018, 07:29:56 AM »
Time to check the stepper motor driver current limits.
SARCASM - Just one more service we offer here.

wveagle81

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: New To Cutting and Need Some Advice
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2018, 01:07:23 PM »

Success!  Sort of.  It didn't cut all the way thru on 4 passes, but it looks really good.  I'm working
on a new image now, which I won't cut, but I'll use some of the same techniques to hopefully get
a good etching.

I'll work more on cutting when I get my new laser.  Thanks for all your help!
***********************************
- EleksMaker A3 Pro
- Paint Shop Pro and T2
- Obstacle Racer and Trail Runner